My Study Abroad Experience: Nikki Reyes

What are two things you learned from your time abroad/off-campus that you may not have learned otherwise?

I learned to be grateful about being from a big city in America and the relationships that I have here. Although abroad was beautiful and I saw things and places that I have never seen before, it made me realize that we have a luxury in cities like Boston and New York; everything is so easily accessible. It also made me realize that the world is small, and things and people are similar no matter where you go!

What surprised you most about your time abroad/off-campus?

When I was abroad I had a lot of free time. In Boston I was doing something 24/7 – working at a job, keeping up with classes, managing student groups, working out, etc. But in Venice my only real obligations were my classes – and they were MUCH less work than what I am used to in Questrom. So I had a lot of free time – which was good because I could travel a lot.

What was the hardest part of your experience?

The hardest part of my experience was the slow paced life style in Venice. I haven’t had that much time to sleep since 6th grade. It was impossible to work out in Venice – there are barely any gyms and you can’t run across bridges. I wanted to have a job on the side – because I always have a side job – but it was hard to get hired because of the language barrier. Also, there were times that I missed my other friends and family (since the program was so small)

What was the best part of your experience?

Venice is such a cute and simple city. You always have access to fresh, yummy, cheap food. People are always out having a drink and eating. Also, I loved travelling. It is so cheap to fly somewhere in europe. A lot of things are a lot cheaper in Europe (Alcohol Especially). It was nice to experience something COMPLETELY new every single weekend. Europe is awesome because every country has such a different culture. You fly an hour away and the food, the language, the way that people look, the architecture, the history, is all so different – it felt like I was in an amusement park.

What are your best tips for those planning to study where you did?

Don’t be afraid to spend money experiencing new things. You will never really have the chance to be in a different country for 5 months, with no other obligations, with a group of people who are all on the same page as you. Abroad is a great time to be refreshed. I had CORE the semester before and was drained – I wanted to travel the world and be an artist for a living – but after doing that for four months abroad, I came back to America refreshed, more motivated, and more inspired than ever before. It was as if I got the travel bug out of my system and came back wanted to get shit done.

Are there any hidden gems that your classmates should check out?

If you are in Italy go to the Amalfi coast – the food is amazing and it is one of the most beautiful places ever. I think that although traveling outside of the country you are living in is amazing – you should also immerse yourself in the country that you are in by exploring different parts of it. As far as Venice goes – there is a super cool place that all the college kids go to called Billiardy (Like Billiards) – it is the only place in Venice that is open past 2 am. Also do the tour of the Venetian islands – it is a good deal and you can see all of the islands for the perfect amount of time at the perfect price. Also – drink spritz and tons of cappuccino because you can’t get that in America. Also — 5 euro pasta.